Creffield and the Holy Rollers made page one headlines from 1903 to 1907. When I was researching Holy Rollers: Murder and Madness in Oregon’s Love Cult I spent months transcribing hundreds of articles. I’m not sure why I was so obsessive. Maybe it was my way of immersing my self into a cult without joining one. Anyway, I’m posting them all for those who are really interested in the story, or are interested the history of journalism, or are interested in how a scandalous story played out in the "media" in a by gone era. Since I no doubt made typos and unconsciously corrected papers' typos, these web pages should not be cited in anything serious (e.g. your dissertation). For such projects they should only be used as starting points and you should refer to the original sources. If you want a shorter version of the story, buy my book. Enjoy.

December 8, 1903: Hurt Seen In Portland


Esther Mitchell
Brighid Thomas, Tim Crabtree & Erin McGarry
as Esther, Perry & Phoebe Mitchell

Oregon Daily Journal (Portland) 12/8/1903 p9

“Holy Roller” Hurt Seen In Portland


A strict watch is being kept in the vicinity of the home of the Boys and Girls’ Aid society for Frank Hurt, son of O. V. Hurt of Corvallis, who drove the “Holy Roller prophets from his home. The young man appeared a few days ago and attempted to see Esther Taylor, one of the “Holy Rollers” who has been at the home for several weeks.


Miss Taylor is 16 years of age and has been suffering from hysteria caused by her association with the peculiar sect. Sunday, Hurt attempted to speak to the girl as she was on her way with other girls to the Third Presbyterian church. Although refused permission to talk to Miss Taylor, he admonished her to “keep on victory’s side.” When she reached the church the girl was greatly excited and asked to testify. She talked ramblingly and said she intended to lead a better life.


When the elder Hurt ejected the sect from his home, his son and Creffield, the leader of the “Holy Rollers” disappeared. The first seen of young Hurt was when he appeared in the neighborhood of the home last week. He has not been seen since Sunday. Miss Taylor is gradually regaining control of herself.



Corvallis Gazette 12/8/1903 p3

Warren B. Hartley went to Eugene yesterday and expects to be gone a couple of weeks.

Lewis Hartley left Wednesday for an Eastern trip. he will return about the first of the year.



Corvallis Gazette 12/15/1903 p3

An Athletic club has been organized in Corvallis for the benefit of clerks, business men and others. The old Salvation Army Hall at the corner of Main and Jackson streets has been fitted up with bars, punching bags, rings and other athletic contrivances. At a meeting some time ago J. J. McHenry was elected manager and Byron Taylor secretary. The membership fee is $1 per month and the enrollment reaches nearly fifty members.



Corvallis Times 12/16/1903 p3

James Berry arrived Saturday from a trip to Hoquiam and Aberdeen, Washington.



Kline's StoreCorvallis Times 12/2/1903 p2

To Telephone Patrons

New Telephones and Change of old Number



(Thirty numbers are listed)



Four numbers are listed, including:

Main 174--Hurt, O. V.



Corvallis Times 12/09/1903 p3

O.V. Hurt has returned to his old position in Kline’s store. He arrived from a week’s business trip to Portland.



Corvallis Gazette 12/29/1903 p3

Lewis Hartley returned from his Eastern trip Saturday. He leaves for Eugene today for a few days stay.

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